SYDNEY (Reuters) - China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd HWT.UL, which was banned from tendering for work on Australia’s $38 billion broadband network, is not seriously considering an immediate float in Australia, two sources familiar with the company’s plans said.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a local stock market listing was among long-term options for the Australian arm.
“The first priority is to see if a research and technology centre can be set up in Australia. A local listing is among options over the next 5-10 years,” one of the sources said.
Earlier, John Brumby, a board member of the Australian arm of Huawei, was cited by a newspaper as saying he had urged Huawei to consider building an Australian research and technology centre, and an eventual local stock exchange listing.
Brumby, a former premier of Victoria state, also said that Huawei Australia would discuss more localisation measures with its Chinese parent in the next few months, in line with Huawei Chief Executive and founder Ren Zhengfei’s commitment to reinvest all Australian profits in the country.
Brumby’s comments at the University of Sydney China Business Forum were first reported by the Australian Financial Review.
A spokesman for Huawei in Sydney confirmed Brumby had made those comments. He declined to comment further.
Other directors of Huawei Australia include former Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer.
Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecoms network equipment by revenue, has become a significant market force in Australia. It supplies equipment to Optus and Vodafone (VOD.L), and has conducted trials with Telstra Corp Ltd (TLS.AX).
The Australian government cited cyber-security concerns when last year it barred Huawei from bidding for contracts to build the national broadband network (NBN), which aims to connect 93 percent of Australian homes and workplaces with optical fibre.
Huawei has also been blocked from deals in the United States due to national security concerns and allegations it violated sanctions by supplying Iran with censorship equipment
Ren’s background as a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army in China has given rise to claims Huawei has a close relationship with the Chinese government. The company has denied those claims.
Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney and Chyen Yee Lee in Hong Kong; Editing by Daniel Magnowski